SCHOOL YEAR 2003-2004

Introduction (IPCRI's education for peace project, the largest and most effective peace educatichool year 200-2001

Education for peace is the best vehicle to ensure that the next generation of Israelis and Palestinians will have the skills, the knowledge and the motivation to create a truly peaceful Middle East.  Now is the time to look towards the next generation and to empower them with the ability to live in peace with their neighbors. Until now we have taught our children and ourselves what is necessary to survive in times of conflict.  Our children must be provided with the skills and knowledge to live in peace and to create mutual respect and understanding that will enable them to transform their lives and this region into one of cooperation, prosperity and freedom.

Project Description
General Objectives
Student Workshops
Selection of Schools
The Peace Education Curricula
Participating Schools
Virtual Meeting Ground

IPCRI is a joint Israeli/Palestinian organization established in 1988 to promote co-understanding, cooperation, and conflict resolution in peaceful ways while setting a model for an alternative through our joint action on a daily basis. These values find expression in IPCRI’s Peace Education Department which perceives peace in a wider context that contains and promotes values of social justice.

The departments’ programs are implemented in the Israeli and Palestinian formal education systems, among the three communities: the Jewish and Palestinian communities in Israel, and the Palestinian in the Palestine. Teachers, perceived by us as agents of change, are our major target population.


In the school year of 2003-2004, 32 schools in Israel -12 Palestinian and 20 Jewish - and 27 schools in Palestine are participating in our programs.


Program Rationale

Those who live under conditions of an ongoing violent conflict, may find themselves accustomed to attitudes and behaviors which derive from such a situation of violence and distrust. This context refuels attitudes and behaviors that construct and reinforce it, and so we find ourselves imprisoned in a vicious cycle of violence. Our goal is to bring about change, social change, a change in awareness and patterns of thought which will bring forth a change in the behavior patterns of all those who are involved in the educational process (students, teachers, school principals, the program’s staff etc.); a structural change in which the vision of an equal, just society, that contains and accepts the other within will be actualized; a society that regards just peace as a state of mind, a chosen value and a way of life. Education for peace is an ongoing and continuous process, which first and foremost transfers the way of coping with a conflict from a violent to a non-violent track.

The success of peace education is to be evaluated, therefore, by the degree of direct action taken by the participants in order to change their environment and the context of their life; to change their attitudes and behaviors which are related to and derive from the conflict, on the basis of a deeper and better understanding of its causes, dynamic development, and the parties involved.


Education for Peace between Israeli and Palestinian High School Teachers and Students
Brief outline of the project

The project was originally initiated to penetrate the school systems of the two societies directly implicated in the Israeli-Arab conflict (Israeli and Palestinian), and to turn the classroom into a vehicle for rapprochement. It is an innovative and unprecedented endeavor in which peace education curricula were designed, while at the same time training and developing a cadre of agents of change, namely the professionals involved in the project - principals, teachers, curricula developers, facilitators and representatives from the Ministries of Education. The direct encounters between the participants enhanced the people-to-people aspect of the project.

The project's fundamental idea was based on the decision that Israelis and Palestinians together develop model lessons for 10th grade students (15-16 year olds). The tenth grade was selected because of the belief that these students have the cognitive abilities to confront the subject materials and are not yet under the pressure of matriculation exams.  The curricula, designed by professionals from the communities involved, was first tested on a small sample of classes (the "ambassadors"), and after a process of trial and correction, implemented during the 1997/8 academic year in 24 Israeli and Palestinian pilot classes and in an additional 24 schools during the 1998/99 academic year. In the school year of 1999/2000 32 classes participated in the program.

One of the long term goals of the project is to create an educational package made of the curricula, teacher training and encounters both at the level of teachers and students that will be adopted and widely used by the Ministries of Education of the two nations, implemented through trained agents of change. Curricula teams agreed on value statements based on the recognition and acceptance of the other, universal values, and critical thinking.

The uniqueness of Peace Education curricula is that it is based on existing subjects taught in the classes.  The curricula teams took the materials in sociology/social sciences, literature, history and English and infused this material with new concepts and activities and added a new text.  This text, while expanding knowledge of the subject, is particularly valuable in highlighting concepts of peace education.  Teachers use this text in conjunction with their traditional subjects to discuss peace education daily.  The Peace Education curricula present an integrative, holistic approach.  The packages have been developed by Palestinian Noor Center for Education and Israeli Adam Institute.

Following the tremendous success of the pilot stage of the project and many requests from the schools participating in it, as well as from schools that have heard about the project, IPCRI's staff is convinced of the necessity to continue its work with the schools currently participating in the project.  Furthermore, we believe that in order for the Peace Education package to be accepted and adopted by the Ministries of Education, we must reach a critical number of participating schools in each country, so that the demand for the program will come from the ground up to the Ministries themselves.

The Israeli Ministry of Education has expressed its support for the project. The Palestinian Ministry of Education expressed its satisfaction with the progress made in the implementation of the project and has recommended that it be submitted for review to the Department of Curricula Development, to consider implementation of the project in additional schools.  In order for this project to be fully adopted by each of the Ministries of Education it is necessary to involve a much larger number of schools and teachers and at a later time to involve the parents on a bi-nation wide lobbying effort aimed at enhancing public and educational pressure upon the decision makers.

In the 1999/2000 school year, the Peace Education Program penetrated Palestinian governmental schools for the first time.  In 2000/2001 additional Palestinian governmental schools will be added to the project as well as two schools in Gaza for the first time.  IPCRI has also made great successful efforts to reach schools in the periphery both in Israel and in Palestine.  The demand for the program from the field is much greater than the financial ability of IPCRI to meet.  For example, the education department of the Municipality of Tel Aviv requested to have the program implemented in all of the high schools under its authority.  IPCRI selected a group of schools in Tel Aviv that contain a wide variety of student populations and represent the southern neighborhoods of Tel Aviv as well as the higher advantageous populations of North Tel Aviv.  Emphasis has been placed on schools in development towns and poorer communities.  In order to answer the needs, IPCRI will be receiving the financial support of the Israeli Ministry of Education that will direct funds for the schools through IPCRI to cover the extra hours required for the implementation of the program.

General and specific objectives

General Objectives:

The objectives of peace education are the imparting of values of tolerance and acceptance of the other, mutual respect of rights, equality and social justice. This is a critical process, in which all who are involved in the education process are asked to examine themselves, their truths, and their relation and patterns of behavior towards their close environment, and only later towards the remote environment and their enemies.

According to our view, in order to enable change three areas need to be focused upon:

values, knowledge and skills. We need to clarify what are the values upon which we choose to live our lives, and what are the prices that we are demanded to pay because of these choices.

In order to make decisions, we need to be exposed to relevant knowledge and to understand the system, its power relations and control mechanisms. After we have chosen a way, learned and understood the facts, we need to acquire skills and tools for coping with the reality in peaceful ways.

The educational process is facilitated in workshops, in a holistic approach, with small groups, finding expression for both the emotional and analytical sides of each participant.

Based on the above principles we develop, collect and process tools and frameworks for clarifying and studying contents of peace education, for developing commitment to peace, and on the practical level – for imparting skills. This is done within each community (uni-nationally\in single identity groups) and in encounters between the different communities.

We hold principals’, educators’ and students’ encounters, and organize professional trainings in the field of peace education, regarding values, knowledge and skills required in the field.

The staff of the department guides, trains and crystallizes the partnership with and between all who participate in the educational process, so that this partnership will be a firm basis which will enable growth and the advancement of change.

Program Summary

Our goal is To bring about change, social change; a change in awareness and patterns of thought which will bring forth a change in the behavior patterns of all those who are involved in the educational process (students, teachers, school principals, programs' staff etc.); a structural change in which the vision of an equal, just society, that contains and accepts the other within, will be actualized; a society that regards peace as a state of mind, chosen value and a way of life.

Our objectives are: To impart values of tolerance and acceptance of the other, recognition of the equal right to liberty, and social justice; development of awareness and critical perception; acquisition of non-violent communications and conflict resolution skills; and an encounter between Palestinians and Jews (since the beginning of the Intifada student encounters between Jewish students and Palestinian students from the West Bank did not take place, yet we try to hold a limited number of Jewish-Arab encounters).

Target population: Educators – school principals, teachers and school advisors and students of the 10th and 11th grades.

Program components:

Basic program:

1. New teachers’ and principals’ encounter – 5 days abroad.
2. Teacher training in the “Pathways into Reconciliation”/ "Education for Peace" curricula – 5 days.
3. Teacher facilitation of the curriculum in class – about 16 meetings of 2 teaching hours of “Pathways into Reconciliation”/"Education for Peace", for a group of 20 students.
4. Guidance and facilitation of the teachers throughout their work with the students (a guidance meeting once every two weeks, or, according to the needs which arise).
5. Students’ encounter (2 days – if possible!!).
6. The continuation programs alter. Most of them consist of a joint Israeli – Palestinian training of at least 5 days (usually abroad, in a neutral place).
7. Facilitation of CBI – Workable Peace – Inter group negotiation skills, by the teachers, about 22 hours. 8. Guidance and facilitation meetings with the departments’ staff, for WP implementation.

At times, additional programs in cooperation with other organizations, are offered to the veteran schools, such as: virtual encounter of students through the internet, joint delegations abroad, and more.

The way of actualizing the objectives: Due to our holistic perception, the program includes cognitive components (curriculum) and emotional experiential activities (workshops and encounters). To enable a change our programs focus on values and stands, knowledge and acquisition of skills in negotiation and conflict transformation. This is done through joint work on different levels (school principals, teachers, facilitators, steering teams, curriculum development teams, educators and all participants in the educational process). The process takes place in both uni-national and bi-national groups.

Work process in the schools:

All schools are divided into regional groups: 3 in Israel and 4 in Palestine - each group guided by a facilitator from the departments’ staff. A new school that joins the program chooses a team of teachers that will implement the program, preferably in two 10th grade classes, that will be divided into four groups, as a pilot (1-2 teachers per class). One of the teachers is appointed as the contact person at the school.

The training in the curricula takes place in the summer vacation, and the school needs to decide in what way the program will be implemented, and to schedule a time-frame for implementation in the regular weekly schedule – whether it is two weekly hours per semester for two parallel groups (since the class is divided into 2 groups), two weekly hours per year – when every week a different group meets, or, in concentrated days – 5 days for the entire program.

The Peace Education Departments’ staff guides the process of facilitation in the classes.

All principals and new teachers are invited to an educators’ encounters that takes place during the school year, as long as there are parallel holidays or vacations in the Jewish, Muslim and Christian schools, or during the summer vacation.

After a school has undergone the pilot year successfully, it is invited to expend it to include up to the entire 10th grade, and 11th.

The veteran teachers and principals are invited every year to a Jewish-Palestinian educators’ encounter, and to further trainings. This year as well we are holding training in negotiation skills between groups (Consensus Building Institute – CBI) and a program of peer mediation (Program for Young Negotiators – PYN),. In June, 2000 we held the first training in facilitation skills (120 hours). In July 2002 veteran teachers underwent training in conflict analysis skills and in ways of coping with conflicts. In July 2003 a second training in facilitation skills for veteran teachers took place (7 days).

The educational process is a long one, and therefore our program is a continuous one, and the longer the teachers participate in it, the more Jewish-Palestinian educators’ encounters, trainings, workshops they attend. As a result a network of schools has developed, including support groups – by region and by topic (i.e., for those who have undergone training in CBI), or based on relations that were formed between teachers or between different schools. We promote, guide and many times fund initiatives that develop between the schools. Such initiatives are very reinforcing for the relations between the schools and between the teachers.

Student Workshops

"We were very afraid to come to the meeting. When we arrived, we sat on one side and they sat on the other. But slowly, we got to know them and had great fun in the social activities in the evening. Now I know much better about the Palestinian life and conditions."
An Israeli student

Structure of the Workshop

The aim of the student encounter is to an opportunity for Palestinian and Israelis to meet the "other" and to challenge their assumptions. By the end of the encounter, we hope the participants will have more questions about the situation and to be able to identify both similarities and differences between them. The structure of the workshop is to move from a personal to cultural and finally to a political level of discussion. Prior to the encounters, the students meet with the project facilitators several times to prepare themselves for the encounter and in order to maximalize the experience.  The encounters are also followed by a series of meetings with the facilitators and the teachers in order to analyze and understand the encounter experience to its fullest potential.  The program of the encounter includes the following: Personal level activities would include looking at the issue of names, family history, place of birth, influential people etc. Culture level activities deal with boy/girl relations, music, customs, parent/children relations, folklore, and values related to culture. In addition, the evening activity is centered on preparation and presentation of skits. Political level activities comprise an exercise design provided to illustrate the different narratives of the conflict through making multi-media posters.  This sparks off debate on relevant and specific political issues. The closing sessions of the workshop are set aside for student discussion where they are encouraged to comment on their experience and perceptions of the project.

Selection of Schools

There are more schools interested in joining the project than we have the financial ability to absorb. IPCRI places high demands on schools that join the project. These include: A headmaster committed to the project

       ü         A minimum of three teachers who will work on the project

       ü         An agreement to free the teachers for a minimum of 10 school days for training

       ü         Two hours per week of study for each class participating

       ü         Agreement to divide the class in half for all project activities in order to work in small groups

       ü         At least one class from the tenth grade participating

       ü         Agreement to have the class participate in a two day encounter

       ü         All extra costs for class hours are at the expense of the school (we hope to receive the support of the Israeli Ministry of Education for the hours of schools located in the periphery)

Schools are selected from varied social backgrounds Furthermore, IPCRI has made an effort this year to select schools in the periphery as well as several disadvantaged schools in order to widen the scope and nature of students participating.

Teacher Encounters and Training

Towards the 2003-2004 school year, we held:

  1. A new teachers’ training in “Pathways into Reconciliation 2003-4"/ “Education for Peace”. All of the Israeli veteran teachers will be trained in the updated curriculum during this school year by our staff.
  2. A veteran teachers training in facilitation skills, with the direction of Dr. Ariela Bairy Ben-Yishai of Sapir College, and Saber Rabi of the Adam Institute, and with the facilitation of the departments’ staff.
  3. A principals’ encounter organized and facilitated by the department’s team.
  4. CBI – Workable Peace training, with the facilitation of veteran teachers.

During the 2003-2004 school year we will hold:

  1. A new teachers’ encounter (aimed at teachers who have joined our programs at the present school year) - during the first five days of parallel holiday/vacation for both Israeli and Palestinian teachers – Christian, Muslim and Jewish. A notice will be given as soon as possible.
  2. A Palestinian coordinators’ training.
  3. A meeting of a professional committee that will consist of educators, teachers and staff members that will work on developing the “Education for Peace” package to be updated and address the changing needs of the Palestinian community.

The Peace Education Curricula

Curricula which are implemented in 2003-2004 in the 10th and 11th grades are:



There are different programs in different stages of development by the departments’ staff, with the cooperation of educators and organizations in the area and abroad. Furthermore, staff members attempt to answer the special needs that arise in the field, helping with processing, developing and tailoring special programs in the peace education field.


The Government of the United States  funded the major portion of the project in its first 6 years through the MERC - Middle East regional Cooperation program of USAID. . Further funding was received from Yad HaNadiv, Keren Bracha, “People-to-People”, the British Council, and the governments of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Switzerland, Holland and more. In the 2003-2004 school year the major portion of the budget will be funded by the European Union, the Government of Finland and the Government of Japan.


IPCRIs' co-directors are Dr. Gershon Baskin and Dr. Zakaria Qaq. The peace education department was established in 1996 by Dr. Marwan Darweish, together with Linda Futerman, Nedal Jayousi, and Anat Reisman-Levy. In 2003-4 the co-directors of the department are Anat Reisman-Levy and Issa Rabadi. The coordinators and facilitators of the program in Israel are: Ghaida Rinawie-Zoabi, Ayelet Roth,,and Eitan Reich. The administrator is Leah Even. The Palestinian coordinators are: Amal Duaybes, Sofi Ghanim, Ghazi Shaqle, Iyad Duaybes and Cyrien Khano.

The programs were prepared and implemented along the years in cooperation with the Adam Institute for Peace and Democracy, Nur Center in Ramallah, the Consensus Building Institute (Cambridge, Massachusets), and further partners in different levels and stages of the process: the Ministry of Education (the Unit for Coexistence and Democracy, the Department for Curriculum Development, and the Pedagogical Secretariat), the Neve Shalom School for Peace, Givat Haviva, and Israeli and Palestinian facilitators and educators.


In 1998, IPCRI contract Dr. Yifat Maoz, an educational psychologist specializing in communications from the Hebrew University to conduct an impact study of the encounter section of the program.  The executive summary of that study is attached in Annex I of this proposal. In 2000/2001 IPCRI would like to conduct a much more comprehensive external evaluation of the program including the classroom work as well as the encounters and teacher training. During the school year 2000-2001, IPCRI would like to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the entire program that will examine the curricula, the teacher training, the co-faciliator training, the work of the teacher supervisors, the work of the facilitators in the encounters.  The evaluation project will enploy 2 qaulified experts in educational evalaution.  The evaluators will observe all elements of the project, will introduce questionaires to teachers and students, at the beginning of the school year and at the end of the school year.  The evaluation will be built as a constructive one providing the IPCRI Peace Education staff with ongoing feedback on all aspects of the project. The proposed comprehensive evaluation of the project will contribute to:

·        Improve the intervention model of Education for Peace by IPCRI in its next phase.

·        Identify the positive changes that took place on attitudinal as well as action levels, such learning enhances the peace building activities and its potential to strengthen the peace process on the level of "people to people."

·        Recognize the limitations and negative consequences that might result from the intervention project.

The need to comprehensively evaluate the IPCRI Education for Peace program stems from the recognition that the project has been implemented for the last five years and only one intermediary and partial evaluation of the students' encounters was conducted in 1999. Although the partial evaluation pointed out to the strong positive impact that the encounters have produced on the Palestinian and Israeli students, nevertheless there are many other aspects that should be examined. For example, what was the impact of this

project on the staff of teachers from the two different communities (Israeli and Palestinians).  To what extent has this project influenced their personal and professional lives as agents of social change in their school systems? What type of impact did the project have on the students who have completed the program? What actual and concrete implications did the Education for Peace project have on the students and staff?

Identifying and learning the process of development and obstacles that faced this program from its inception until now can provide an important contribution to the field of peace building in post settlement or in divided societies in general.  The Israel-Palestinian experience is fresh and pioneer in this area, there are no other programs in the world that have attempted to engage in such process of devising new curricula to change myths and misperceptions among old enemies. Thus learning and documenting the development of the project can offer significant lesson not only for IPCRI's future projects in this area, but for other countries as well. Finally, in terms of timing and measuring impact of Education for Peace, it is essential to try and capture the impact of the intervention as close as possible to the actual intervention, three years is a long period in the life of a teenager. Beyond this period of time it will be difficult to have participants to reflect on their past experience with the project.

Methodology and experience of the principle evaluator:

The proposed evaluation method would be based on participatory approach that combines qualitative and quantitative analysis of the responses of all the actors involved in this project. Thus, the primary ways to collect the data would be through the combination of surveys, in depth interviews, observations, and examination of secondary documents that capture that development of the projects. In developing the different evaluation forms and strategies, the evaluator and the team will involve the IPCRI staff and directors and respond to their needs and concerns. In addition, after the final report and analysis of the findings, the evaluator will propose to conduct a special training workshop to share and discuss the findings and the implications to IPCRI's approach in the Education for Peace project. The evaluator's knowledge of Arabic and Hebrew languages allows him to understand the narrative and cultural context all actors involved in the project. Such understanding is crucial when the objective is to evaluate and capture specific psychological changes that participants and staff have experienced throughout the project. The evaluator's personal and professional experience in Arab-Jewish encounter and dialogue groups (see attached C.V) place him in a strong position to capture the process of change and the impact of the Project from an insider perspective. Such position contributes to the evaluator ability to genuinely reflect the nature and impact of the process of intervention too. Such back ground also contribute to the understanding and consideration of the political, social, and cultural context that usually affect the Education for peace projects. 

Scope of Evaluation:
In the Education for Peace project there has been 100 teachers (40 new and 60 veterans since February 1996).  In 2000-2001 there will be about 300 teachers involved in the program. There are about 60 schools that are involved in the programs. The schools are spread geographically and include both government and private schools.  In terms of curriculum development, the teachers and students participants have developed two curricula (for Israeli and Palestinian students).  In the past the project has focused on the 10th graders, but his year other 11th graders will be added too with new two courses on conflict resolution (developed by Israeli Center for Negotiation and Consensus building Institute from MIT).  The Education for Peace curricula included literature, history, social studies. The program staff includes a program director, two program's coordinators (Israeli and Palestinian), and about 20 freelance facilitators who assist in preparing the teachers and students. The evaluation process will focus on three levels to measure the impact and development of the Education for Peace project. The three levels are:

(1)   attitudinal changes among participants ;

(2)   behavioral changes that influenced or developed among participants as a result of their participation in the project;

(3)    new skills  that has been learned or gained by the participants.

The proposed evaluation program would certainly include the following components:

I.                    Initiation period contact and coordination (February 1996-completion of the first curriculum).

The primary focus of the evaluation of this period would be on the:

a.       Nature of the contact between Israeli and Palestinian educators, NGOs representatives, Ministries of education, and academicians.

b.      Type of training provided to the participants and the development of the group.

c.        Impact of the meetings and process of curriculum development on the members of the group.

d.      Satisfaction of the group from the curriculum that was developed

II.                 Teacher training: the evaluation in this phase will focus on all teachers

who were trained to carry out or implement these curricula for peace in both communities (approximately 300 teachers have been trained by IPCRI staff and received 148 hours of training). The evaluation of these teacher experience can focus on the following aspects:

a.       impact of the training in their attitudes towards their own community and the other community;

b.      impact of the training and experience of  teaching the curriculum on their personal and  professional lives; and

c.       teachers' perceptions of the impact of the curricula on their students and the general relations between the two communities; and

d.      identify the type of skills that were gained by teachers as a result of their training in education for peace project.

III.               Students' education: Evaluation in this phase can focus on the experience of the students in studying the curricula separately and their reactions to the joint sessions that they had with members of the other community. Some of specific evaluation items would relate to the following aspects:

a.       impact of the curricula on the students perception of the other side;

b.      impact of the meeting with the other in the encounter context on the students' perceptions; and

c.       impact of the Education for Peace experience on the students' actions. (For example, have students become involved in certain activities due to their exposure to such curricula?).

d.      identify specific skills that students have learned as a result of their exposure to the curriculum of Education for Peace

IV.              IPCRI staff perceptions: this segment of the evaluation focuses on the perceptions

and attitudes among IPCRI staff who were involved in the project. The evaluation aims at uncovering the development of the project and the necessary changes that will improve its implementations. Thus, there are certain concepts that will be examined:

a.       extent of training invested in the preparation of teacher, curricula , and project in general;

b.      perceptions of success and impact that the project has had on the various participants; and

c.       lessons learned from the experience working in this project.

Timetable of Events (by the school year):


        ·          Opening of the school year meeting of all of the teachers

        ·          School visits by staff

        ·          Teacher Training workshops on Peace Education Package

        ·          Begin implementation of curricula in schools


        ·          School visits by staff

        ·          Follow up teacher training

        ·          Lessons being taught in schools

        ·          Teacher Training


        ·          School visits by staff

        ·          Lessons being taught in schools


        ·          Veteran teachers' encounter workshop; 5 days

        ·          Follow up teacher training

        ·          School visits by staff

        ·          Lesson being taught in schools


        ·          School visits by staff

        ·          Follow up teacher training

        ·          New teachers' encounter workshop; 5 days


        ·          Student encounters begin

        ·          Follow up teacher training

        ·          Newsletter

        ·          Curricula modification


        ·          New school recruitment begins

        ·          School visits by staff

        ·          Follow up teacher training

        ·          Evaluation of curricula and further modifications

        ·          Student encounters


        ·          Student encounters

        ·          New school recruitment

        ·          School visits by the staff

        ·          Follow up teacher training

        ·          Curricula evaluation and modification


        ·          Student encounters

        ·          School visits by the staff

        ·          New and old school recruitment


        ·          Student encounters

        ·          School visits

        ·          Evaluation with teachers

        ·          Printing and distribution of modified curricula packages


        ·          Preparations for new teachers' training

        ·          Selection of teachers

        ·          Workshops for facilitators


        ·          Teachers training

        ·          Distribution of curricula packages

        ·          Teachers' training for 11th grade program


Schools participating in the program in the current school year (2003-2004):

In Israel:  Kiryat Gat – Shalon; in Jerusalem – Ziv, the Experimental, Givat Gonen and Arts; in Tel-Aviv-Jaffa – Ironi Alef, Ironi Daled, Ironi Hei, Ironi Tet and Ironi Yud-Bet; in Herzeliya – Rishonim; in Taibe – Taibe Atid; in Qufur Qassem – the Community Center and the Technological High School; in Haifa – Reali, Hugim, Bosmat, Alliance, Shizaf, Orthodox, and Carmel; in Kibbutz Yifat – HaEmek HaMa’aravi Regional High School; in Kibbutz Yagur – Carmel-Zvulun; in Kibbutz Cabri – Cabri-Manor Regional Arts High School; in Kibbutz Amir – Eynot-Yarden; in Kiryat Yam – Rodman; in Tamra – Quarizmi and Abu Rumi; in Abelin – Mar Elias; in Qufur Yassif – Yanni; in Sachnin – Sachnin High School; and in Misgav – the Experimental High School.

In Palestine: in Beit Sahur - Greek Catholic Patriarchate School and the Latin Patriarch School; in Jerusalem – St. Joseph School, Mar Metri School, Ort Abdallah Al-Husain, Sho’fat Boys School, Sur Baher School, Sur Baher Boys Secondary School, Al-Mukaber Girls’ School, Spanish School, Beit Safafa, and Terra Sancta School; in Taybeh – Taybeh School; in Zababdeh – Latin Patriarch School; in Ramallah – Friends School, Al-Kulieh Al-Ahlieh School, Anglican School, and Catholic School; in Bethlehem – Terra Sancta School, and Abdallah School; in Nablus – St. Joseph School, Ibrahimieh College.



Bringing Peace Education to Thousands in Schools and at Home

a) Introduction

Virtual Meeting Ground (Internet) Project, will function as an innovative non-controlled environment within the implementation of the Education for Peace Project. Before confronting the other side directly, with all this entails in terms of emotional risks, the students will prepare for their "live" encounters by Internet encounters. The Virtual Meeting Ground project will enable students to get in touch with one another in a "neutral" learning environment without touching directly upon the most emotional issues of the conflict. Students will take part in a joint learning experience of creating and maintaining a web site, managing a discussion forum on the Web, and communicating by email. While this internet component is an integral part of the larger Education for Peace Project, it has the potential  - beyond the limitations of the current project - to grow into an independent long-term endeavor that can significantly contribute to fostering a climate of dialogue and coexistence between youngsters in our conflicted communities.

Elements of the Internet Project

Web Page Design

Each class involved in the project will be assisted by the IPCRI staff in the design of a class web page.  These pages can include the following information (and more)

                      · A class profile who are the individual students in the class, their personal histories, family background, etc.

                      · A profile of their school curricula, subjects, main projects, etc.

                      · A profile of their school and community

                      · Issues for discussion about the conflict and the peace process, etc.

The web page will be dynamic and will change as the project progress. Discussion forums can be added to the web page and links to other interesting sources of relevant information will be added. The interactive websites will be designed during the project and will be used as a forum for dialogue. Students themselves will - under facilitation or consultation - raise subjects for discussion and/or joint problem solving with counterpart classes of the other communities. The subjects will be those most pertinent to their daily lives. It could be that some of the issues raised will deal with our larger regional conflicts, but this is not necessary. The main value for Palestinian and Israeli students is to learn to communicate with each other in a spirit of curiosity, mutual respect and non-violence.  The students will be able to publish letters for everyone to read, and can respond either to the group or to each other through email.  They will get to know each other through this contact and will be able to write to each other personally. In another area of the website, there will be the local newsletter, written and published by the students.  Students will be encouraged to write articles and a group of interested students will act as editors of the online newsletter.


The project staff will create four listserve email discussion lists including:

                      ·          For the Israeli and Palestinian students already taking part in the IPCRI Peace Education program

                      ·          For all Israeli and Palestinian students who wish to join the discussion (those who are not involved in the IPCRI Education for Peace project)

                      ·          For Israeli and Palestinian educators those involved and those not involved in the IPCRI Education for Peace project

                      ·          For peace educators all over the world who are interested in peace education.

A Chat Room

The project staff will set up an on-line chat room for Israeli and Palestinian high school students to communicate on-line in real time.  The chat room will be unmonitored for free and open discussion. b) Benefits The benefits of this project are:

1. Technical training and practice: Students and educational personnel will obtain technological training and practice that will help them gain skills on the Internet.  These skills will qualify them for participating in today's global economy and acts as a buffer against parochialism as well as providing additional experience and knowledge in information technology.

2. Virtual communication bridges geographical distances: The computer encounters constitute a "safe" means of fighting stereotypes and creating rapprochement. Facilitated contact via the Internet will stimulate a culture of cooperation and interaction. Encounters between participants on all levels (educators, teachers, principals, and students) are built into the project.

3. Problem solving skills: Students learn to express their concerns in a creative and mutually acceptable format. They learn to work together for a constructive aim. By dealing with projects aimed at participation, problem solving and research skills, the participants will have a chance of refining their conflict resolution skills. In that sense, the process of setting up, operating, and communicating through Internet provides a powerful tool of empowerment for all its users.

4. A resource center for conflict resolution: The web pages has an indefinite life-span, and therefore has the potential of serving as an infrastructure for wider future usage. It will establish a virtual meeting ground for regional (and hopefully global) conflict resolution for use by students, educators, and others. 

c) Methodology

The Virtual Meeting Ground uses innovative technologies in the service of peace building. As many classes as technically possible will be connected through Internet. Most of the Israeli schools already have computer labs with internet hook-ups.  Most of the Palestinian schools do not have computer labs.  Therefore, there is also a need to include the purchasing of computer hardware for most of the Palestinian schools. After installation and connection of the required hardware in each school, participants will be instructed in the use of the computer and the Internet. Since the project is an optional activity, we assume that it will involve about 10 to 15 students per class. After a time of becoming accustomed to the forum and email correspondence, students will be paired up to research a topic which they will choose and make a presentation to their respective classes.  These projects will also be published with the online newsletter. Israeli and Palestinian mentors, under the guidance of the Project Administrator, will cooperate in tutoring the students. Where necessary, they will assist in contacting specialists in the fields into which they wish to delve. Students will thus acquire, in a "fun" way, useful information skills, develop creative and critical thinking, and deepen their research and teamwork abilities. The emphasis throughout the project will be on what the students have in common rather than on what divides them.

IPCRI is gradually turning into a resource center for a much wider public. Our hope is that, as the project progresses, information about it will continue to filter into the three societies that have as yet been untouched by its message of cooperation, mutual respect, and hope for a better common future in the region. The various elements in the project are combined in such a way as to optimize chances that the curriculum package will be widely used but also that the scope of involved target audiences will expand. There are very few joint projects which have sustained operations over a long period of time. The Education for Peace is amongst them and is the only project active in peace education within the framework of formal education. It has become personally important for the people involved, and a lot of time, money, and effort have been invested in it in order to reach the current stage. The Education for Peace project is the first and biggest of its kind that has entered the system and intends to prove to the Ministries of Education that this project is a very important asset in reaching peace and should therefore be adopted in their curricula.

            One of the unique aspects of this project has been its continuity. We have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to build the Education for Peace Project, step by step, over a long period, building confidence and friendships between the participants. Participants look forward to meeting one another and have developed trust in one another and in the project staff.

            Once we have completed the implementation stage, the project will be in a position to be adopted by the Ministries of Education and/or by other non-governmental organizations. From then on, numerous schools will have access to a complete, tested and evaluated modular package of education for peace curricula.

            It is worthwhile mentioning that the project was developed, funded and started during the time when the peace process had more hopeful signs and higher appraisal from both the Palestinians and Israelis. Now, two years after the assassination of Mr. Rabin, at a time in which the peace process is virtually at a standstill and people from both sides are not very optimistic, it is all the more important to continue the Education for Peace project. Youngsters are the future of each society and they should be motivated, through education for peace, to find the courage to live with and next to each other in a peaceful and cooperative way.

During work on this project, and on the basis of feedback from specialists involved in conflict resolution and dialogue encounters, the idea of introducing the Internet as a mode of communication and creating a network of students from the region evolved as an exciting possibility. Taking advantage of the infrastructure of schools and classes we have established we believe that The Virtual Classroom idea will constitute an indispensable stepping stone on the way to fulfilling the objectives of education for peace.

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